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As the Disney Invasion continues to sweep the nation and light up the pop charts, the latest bright young face to join the ranks of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers is singer and songwriter Demi Lovato.

Though to discerning fans of children’s TV, the Texan teen might not be such an unfamiliar figure, having gotten her start as one of the young kids on Barney & Friends, where she met her best friend and fellow Disney star Selena Gomez.

"I remember always having inside jokes with Selena," Demi told OK! when we caught up with her at the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the U.S. Open in NYC. "One time we went into the kitchen and grabbed a handful of gumballs and stuck them in our mouth and ran to school. They were like ‘what do you have in your mouth?’ and we’re like ‘nothing.’"

Looking back on those days, Demi says, "I’m like ‘wow, I was going through my awkward phase.’"  

Well, she’s definitely out of that awkward phase and with her album, Don’t Forget , set to drop Sept. 23, some are already calling her the next Miley Cyrus, a claim Demi takes in stride. "She’s one of the most successful teenagers, and it’s an honor to be compared to her success," she explained.

It’s already been a huge summer for Demi, who co-starred in the hit film Camp Rock with the Jonas Bros. before joining them on their current "Burning Up" concert tour. Oh — and she just celebrated her sweet 16 on Aug. 20.

"We celebrated it all day, pretty much, during the concert," she explained. "I was really thankful because the crowd sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, so it was really awesome. But for my party I went to Applebees with my band. I had chicken fingers and grilled cheese."

 

Speaking of the Jonas boys, what did she think about the brothers sporting Team Demi and Team Selena shirts onstage? "They’re basically like my brothers," she told OK! "They’ll always have my back no matter what situation… They’re hilarious guys, and also they’ve got really big hearts that people don’t always see. They do see it in videos, and things like that, but they’re ten times more cool than you expect when you meet them and hang out with them all the time. And they’re very protective of me."

Well, if she’s so close to the Jonas Brothers, and she’s best friends with Selena, can Demi finally clear up whether or not her BFF is dating Nick Jonas? "I think they would look good together," she said coyly, adding, "But too bad they’re not."

And a good note to all the teen boys out there — Demi’s "definitely not dating anybody," she revealed.

By Valerie Nome

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